While everyone was running around giving thanks, and shopping till they drop on Black Friday’s and Cyber Monday’s, I have been recording my Simply Laughter Online Summit which I am hosting in January. I am so blessed to be interview amazing people who are really making a positive difference around the world. In the next couple of months I would like to share some of the highlights with you.
Dare to dare
Yesterday, I interviewed a man who opened his heart to me about his journey as a Humanitarian Clown. I met Guy Giard 4 years ago at the Canadian Laughter Conferences in Toronto as he was starting a journey that transformed not only his life but many that he came in contact with.
Like so many he was a home owner, with a stable job and loving family and yet he was only giving 5% of his full potential and was just cruising through the other 95%. It took the loss of his dad for him to wake up and change this. He knew he needed more and that no matter what he had been through, what harsh situations he had endured it didn’t need to define him. And that is when he went for his first Laughter Yoga session.
How Patch Adams changes lives
Being amongst the wonderful laughter community wakening his curiosity about the benefits of childlike playfulness and unconditional laughter prompted him to do his research. This took him to none other than Patch Adams, one of the pioneers of adding a more fun, laughter and colour when treating patients. Guy had watched many clips on the wonderful work he had done and decided to contact him… Guess what?? He not only got a reply but was invited to join him in Guatemala on a clowning mission.
Overcoming many fears and obstacles, Guy found himself suited in his best colours, red nose and puppet and in front of kids at a children’s hospitals and in orphanages. Having never clowned before, he was nervous and filled with that self-doubt we all have had run ins with but that all vanished as he connected with one little girl in the audience and it was here that it all changed.
Allow your heart to open up and be vulnerable
She was only 8, and she was drawn to the wonderful charisma I have had the luck to encounter and a bond was formed. She giggled and her eyes lit up and she loved being his assistant playing patty cake and handing out stickers and was lost in the joy … and then it was time to say ‘good bye’ and it was here that Guy came to the realisation that he was moving on and the orphanage was her reality. This is where his heart opened and he wept. He had been a teacher and had never witness kids being so full of joy with so little. He felt so vulnerable because he could not do anything to change it except, for NOW, give her him, fully and wholly and it was in this moment he became a Care Clown.
The gift of compassion & humanity
Guy continued his journey visiting kids in a heart hospital where he connected with many lovely little souls, some about to have major surgeries, some who had already gone through them and then some who were born prematurely,. It was here that he found that his presence in the hospital was so valuable, just by being there, holding a hand, connecting through an understanding gaze, sharing a tear, or getting up to absolute clown mischief, he was giving the gift of LOVE.
Sometimes we don’t realize just how powerful being there, fully present in someone’s life can mean so much. You don’t need to have the answers or solutions you just need to BE and to LOVE. And it was here that Guy found he was living his life to its full potential 95% of the time. He then went on to do 5 tours in Gautamala, he visited Peru, India and many other countries spreading this wonderful gift that laughter had unleashed.
I hope this story inspires you to reach deep inside you and to let you know – you too can live 95% of your full potential.
About the author: To find out more about Jo-Dee Walmsley, please click here.